Coal workings at Dewley Pits, 650m south west of Black Callerton


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016194

Date first listed: 14-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Coal workings at Dewley Pits, 650m south west of Black Callerton
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016194 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2019 at 17:48:19.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Newcastle upon Tyne (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Woolsington

National Grid Reference: NZ 16514 69025, NZ 16772 68798, NZ 16988 69506, NZ 17070 68792, NZ 17379 69148, NZ 17508 69327, NZ 17862 69814


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Coal has been mined in England since Roman times, and between 8,000 and 10,000 coal industry sites of all dates up to the collieries of post-war nationalisation are estimated to survive in England. Three hundred and four coal industry sites, representing approximately 3% of the estimated national archaeological resource for the industry have been identified as being of national importance. This selection, compiled and assessed through a comprehensive survey of the coal industry, is designed to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity. Extensive coal workings are typical of the medieval and post-medieval coal industry, although this style of exploitation continued into the early 20th century in some marginal areas which were worked on a very small scale with little capital investment. In its simplest form extensive workings took coal directly from the outcrop, digging closely spaced shallow pits, shafts or levels which did not connect underground. Once shallower deposits had been exhausted, deeper shafts giving access to underground interconnecting galleries were developed. The difficulties of underground haulage and the need for ventilation encouraged the sinking of an extensive spread of shafts in the area worked. The remains of extensive coal workings typically survive as surface earthworks directly above underground workings. They may include a range of prospecting and exploitation features, including areas of outcropping, adits and shaft mounds (circular or sub-circular spoil heaps normally with a directly associated depression marking the shaft location). In addition, some sites retain associated features such as gin circles (the circular track used by a horse powering simple winding or pumping machinery), trackways and other structures like huts. Some later sites also retain evidence of the use of steam power, typically in the form of engine beds or small reservoirs. Extensive coal mines vary considerably in form, depending on the underlying geology, their date, and how the workings were originally organised. Sites can include several hundred shafts spread over an extensive area. Coal occurs in significant deposits throughout large parts of England and this has given rise to a variety of coalfields extending from the north of England to the Kent coast. Each region has its own history of exploitation, and characteristic sites range from the small, compact collieries of north Somerset to the large, intensive units of the north east. A sample of the better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and technological range of extensive coal workings, together with rare individual component features are considered to merit protection.

The coal mining remains at Dewley Pits survive well and represent a remarkable and well defined concentration of late 18th and 19th century shaft mounds and an associated transport system. Its earthwork remains, and buried deposits in the area immediately surrounding each shaft, provide information for both the historical and technological development of coal mining in this area and for the operation of the individual shafts themselves. The Dewley Pits will contribute towards an understanding of the transition from small scale, low investment mining to the more capital intensive, nucleated mines that emerged in the late 18th century and thus represents a rare example nationally from this period of transition. Areas of ridge and furrow, the remains of earlier agricultural activity, are included in the scheduling because their physical relationship to the mining remains is illustrative of the impact of industrialisation on the rural landscape in the post-medieval period.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument is situated to the south west of the hamlet of Black Callerton, some 3.5km south of Ponteland, and includes the earthworks and other remains of a number of late 18th century mine shafts, the earthwork remains of part of an associated transport system and areas of ridge and furrow cultivation. The monument lies within seven separate areas. Documentary sources indicate that coal extraction had begun at the site by the 17th century. The surface remains of the monument include dispersed shaft mounds which provide evidence for the transition from small, low investment, dispersed collieries of the 18th century and earlier, to the capitally intensive nucleated mines which emerged in the latter 18th century. The Dewley Pits continued to be worked into the 19th century and were the workplace of George Stephenson during the early part of his career. The largest area of the monument is situated to the south of Broom Hall and includes the earthwork remains of Lady Pit, which was mined in the later 18th and early 19th centuries. It includes a large sub-circular shaft mound measuring approximately 50m by 40m, and other features associated with the operation of the shaft will survive as buried remains. To the west of the shaft mound are the well-preserved remains of a waggon way embankment running north-south, which is linked to Lady Pit by two short branch lines. Both the shaft mound and the waggon way overlie an area of ridge and furrow cultivation, which is included in the scheduling because its relationship to the mining features illustrates the impact of the Dewley Pits on the earlier rural landscape. Approximately 260m south west of Lady Pit, in a separate area, is a further shaft mound with an irregular-shaped shaft collar. The remains of a waggon way which originally ran along the south side of the mound has been modified by ploughing and is therefore not included in the scheduling. To the east of Lady Pit, in four separate areas, are the earthwork remains of four widely-spaced shaft mounds which are aligned north east-south west. Map evidence indicates that at least three of these shafts were originally linked by a waggon way which ran adjacent to each shaft. This waggon way has been modified by ploughing along much of its length and is not included in the scheduling, but its route is marked by a public footpath that follows its course. The southernmost shaft mound, known as Engine Pit, is situated immediately to the north of Stamfordham Road. It measures approximately 50m by 40m and has an irregular plan. Further to the north east, on the east side of Andrew Plantation, is a large shaft mound and its associated spoil heap. Both are irregular in plan and overlie the earthwork remains of earlier ridge and furrow cultivation. A sample, 20m wide area, of the ridge and furrow on the south west and south east sides of the shaft mound is included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between these features. Some 160m to the north east are the earthwork remains of the shaft mound and spoil heap of the mine formerly known as Brass Pit, whilst 580m further north east, on the east side of the hamlet of Black Callerton, are the remains of a sub-circular shaft mound which is also included in the scheduling. The area immediately surrounding each of these shafts will retain buried features, including the post holes and timber supports for winding gear, which will contribute towards an understanding of how the shafts were worked. A further sub-circular shaft mound is visible approximately 350m to the north east of Lady Pit and is included in the scheduling in a separate area. It measures 40m by 30m and will also retain buried deposits associated with the operation of the shaft. The modern brick pumping house on the east side of Lady Pit, the electricity poles and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30923

Legacy System: RSM


Ayris, I, (1994)
Title: 1st Edition Source Date: 1881 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: First Edition Source Date: 1881 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing